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11 December 2018 / leggypeggy

Trekking amongst the Arches in Utah

Windows Section of Arches National Park

A vista of the Windows Section of Arches National Park

Good grief, it’s been almost three weeks since I posted. Sorry about that, but life has been surprisingly hectic. We’ve enjoyed houseguests, a couple of road trips, some holiday celebrations and, thankfully, some rain. Some sadness and medical issues have been mixed in, but everything is on track now.

So it’s back to the amazing American West.

I’ve already shared a glimpse of Arches National Park in Utah with a stroll down the stylish, sandstone Park Avenue. But now it’s on to the Windows Section of the park.

The Balanced Rock, Arches National Park

The Balanced Rock

A climber on the rock beside the Balanced Rock

A climber on the rock beside the Balanced Rock

Some people consider this area to be the beating heart of Arches. The area contains a large concentration of arches and is one of the most scenic locations in the park. North Window, Turret Arch and Double Arch are just a few of the awe-inspiring expanses situated in just over two square miles. Other named features in this area include Garden of Eden, Elephant Butte and Parade of Elephants. Balanced Rock is near the entrance to the Windows Section.

I can’t confidently identify everything we saw on this stretch, but the captions include as much as I know, or as much as I can guess.

Double Arch, Arches National Park

Approaching the Double Arch

Our major visits were to the Balanced Rock and Double Arch. We walked around all of Balanced Rock and I got quite a few shots from different angles, including a pic of a fellow who scaled the nearby, more bulbous rock. There were a couple folks up there, but only one was visible by the time I got the camera out.

We also did the hike to Double Arch and back. It is the tallest (112 feet/34 metres) and second-longest (144 feet/44 metres) arch in the park. In the past, it has also been called Double Windows, Twinbow Bridges and the Jug Handles (remind me to tell you a funny story about jugs).

Arches National Park

The Double Arch

Thanks to Mother Nature, the landscape is always changing. Erosion and weathering work slowly but relentlessly. In 1991, a huge rock slab (60 feet long, 11 feet wide and 4 feet thick) fell from the underside of Landscape Arch. It left a very thin ribbon of rock.

Arches National Park

General view of Arches. Probably includes Elephant Butte and Parade of Elephants

One aspect of the walk really annoyed me. It was another one of those times when people think the rules or advice don’t apply to them.

Plenty of signs make it clear that the knobbly, black biological soil crust is a living groundcover and should not be walked on. It’s the foundation of high desert plant life in Arches and the surrounding area. It’s composed of cyanobacteria, and also includes lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria.

The soil crust binds together sand and rock particles, which allows plants to establish their roots. They also provide desert plants with moisture and nutrients in an otherwise inhospitable environment. As one sign says, ‘The crust is so fragile that one footstep can wipe out years of growth’. It goes on to ask people to stay on the path to protect ‘the living soil’.

Arches National Park

A little of what grows in the park

Which is why I was furious to see a family with a dog and a fellow with a camera as long as his arm trudging across the soil crust. I wanted to scream at them, but it’s not a challenge you’d risk in the USA these days.

As an aside, back then my hip was still bothering me (all good now). But it kept me from joining the rest of the group on the trek to the most famous arch of all—the Delicate Arch. Maybe next time.

Arches National Park, Utah

These have two names—The Three Gossips and The Three Wise Men. Thanks to Sy and Curt for identifying

 

117 Comments

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  1. Christopher Bartlett / Dec 11 2018 9:53 pm

    I quite fancy going there, shame about the idiots ignoring the signs. Though that seems to be a common trend all over these days.

    Best regards,

    Christopher Bartlett Managing Director Indigo Safaris Ltd.

    http://www.indigosafaris.com Dives, tribes, treks, and wildlife. Tailor-made safari and dive trips.

    UK+44 7713342729 France +33 668 74 97 05 USA +1 800 295 0428 WhatsApp: +33668749705 Follow us on Facebook

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    >

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 11 2018 9:57 pm

      The ignoring of signs drives me crazy. Amazing how people can be so self-centred and so selfish.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Nilzeitung / Dec 21 2018 6:21 am

        toll Bilder vielen dank und alles erdenklich gut für ihren Blog !!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 21 2018 6:33 am

        Thanks to you too. I’m so glad you like my blog.

        Like

  2. ralietravels / Dec 11 2018 9:54 pm

    Arches is one of our favorite places. Even though we were in Moab only 2 nights this fall, we made it a point to go into Arches just to look at the stars at night.
    Re: the last photo. I don’t know, but perhaps that is not a bad thing. I keep a little notebook and also take photos of signs so that I can label my photos, but Alie has just about convinced me names don’t matter — the goal is to enjoy the place at the time, and the photo is just a mnemonic of the time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 11 2018 9:58 pm

      You’re completely right. Names don’t matter. But the views sure do.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Steve Schwartzman / Dec 16 2018 1:35 am

        On that topic, here’s an English translation of a stanza in the poem “Il va neiger” by the French poet Francis Jammes:

        People have baptized the stars without thinking
        That they don’t need any names, and numbers,
        Which prove that lovely comets will pass along
        Into the darkness, won’t make them pass along.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 16 2018 7:43 am

        Thanks for the translation. It got me thinking. I wonder if a star would be cross if it didn’t like it’s name? 🙂

        Like

  3. beetleypete / Dec 11 2018 9:54 pm

    I continue to be impressed, and to marvel at those natural structures. Thanks again for showing me them, Peggy. I am unlikely to ever get to see them, so I appreciate the tour.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 5 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 11 2018 9:59 pm

      Thanks Pete. Still having wonderful mind’s eye memories of America’s wild west.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. ksbeth / Dec 11 2018 9:56 pm

    how stunning. i’d love to see this in person –

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Anna / Dec 11 2018 10:01 pm

    The double arch looks amazing!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. MichaelStephenWills / Dec 11 2018 10:10 pm

    The farther you walk into the wilderness, the fewer the people and idiots.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Vicki / Dec 11 2018 10:21 pm

    What an amazing place. Those rock formations are stunning and many……so fragile looking in many ways.

    You did well to keep quiet with those idiots. I think I would have had trouble keeping my mouth shut. It’s so infuriating when people ignore Park Signs – they don’t deserve to have access to such a spectacular and fragile environment.

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 11 2018 10:25 pm

      I had trouble keeping my mouth shut. But there’s something about the USA’s culture that helps you keep your comments under control. I agree about stopping those who ignore the signs. Pity they can’t pay to have more rangers.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. jeanleesworld / Dec 11 2018 10:40 pm

    Lovely photos, of course. Just happy to hear your life’s had a lot of guests and adventures–and rain. It sounds like the smiles surpass the tears, but then, hugs in the midst of celebrating with loved ones help with that. xxxxxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 11 2018 10:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Jean. I’ve downloaded your book and will get around to it one day. It will be when life stops interfering.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Gilda Baxter / Dec 11 2018 10:57 pm

    Absolutely stunning place and another great post from you Peggy. My wanderlust has been truly fired up with this one. I love the picture with the climber on top of that rock…gorgeous. I am glad health issues are on the mend now. I hope you have a lovely Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 9:34 am

      I was rather surprised to see the climbers pop up on that rock. I think there were three, but two were out of sight but the time I got the camera aimed in their direction. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Eliza Ayres / Dec 11 2018 11:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. pvcann / Dec 12 2018 1:41 am

    My goodness, what a place, just love that double arch – wow.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. lexklein / Dec 12 2018 1:50 am

    We are just planning a trip out here for next August (I know, it’s gonna be super hot!), so it’s fun to see what we have in store. I am occasionally bold enough to tell people to get back on a path, but there are risks, as you say. It’s just so galling! Deep breath, Lexie, deep breath … look at those pretty arches! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 2:36 pm

      Yes, deep breathe and look at the pretty arches. I read in the newspaper the other day that customers have thrown stuff at fast food staff for something as trivial as the soft-serve machine not working.

      Like

  13. Andrew Petcher / Dec 12 2018 2:06 am

    I think that this was my favourite NP on my 1995 coach trip. Thanks for the memory nudge!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Curt Mekemson / Dec 12 2018 4:52 am

    Well, it’s the season for it, Peggy. I think your rock is The Three Wise Men. Arches is a favorite park of Peggy and mine as well. Thanks for taking us back. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 2:37 pm

      Thanks Curt, a fellow reader (Sy) reminded me that they’re called The Three Gossips. As soon as he wrote that, I remembered that’s what we were told on the day. But on further investigation, I find they go by both names. So thanks to both of you.

      Like

      • Curt Mekemson / Dec 14 2018 3:03 am

        Now you mention it Peggy, I seem to recall both names as well. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 14 2018 7:15 am

        We could combine the concepts of both names and refer to them as The Three Wise Guys. 🙂

        Like

  15. Yeah, Another Blogger / Dec 12 2018 6:58 am

    Fantastic!

    By the way, have you seen the doc Free Solo? It’s about a rock climber who scaled El Capitan without using ropes or a harness. It’s amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Christie / Dec 12 2018 7:29 am

    Stunning places Peggy! I love those little flowers, it is amazing how they thrive in that fragile environment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 2:45 pm

      That fragile environment is why it’s so important for people to respect the signs and stay on the path.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. gerard oosterman / Dec 12 2018 8:44 am

    Even though that rock is balanced and stood there for thousands of years, I would not stand below it. It looks as if a mere blow of someone could topple it. Nice series, Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 2:46 pm

      I wouldn’t stand under it either, Gerard. I’m adventurous, but not stupid.

      Like

  18. wineandhistory / Dec 12 2018 9:41 am

    I have been to Arches twice and really love it. I’m with you – it drives me nuts to see people trampling off trail where there is sensitive soil. Lots of people are so dumb. Beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 3:07 pm

      The Arches are magnificent. So glad it was part of our trip. The tramplers are just thoughtless.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Coral Waight / Dec 12 2018 10:13 am

    Isn’t it wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Catnip Blog / Dec 12 2018 10:28 am

    Ah a funny story about JUGS! . . . . which brings me to the photos of the bare breasted women you took on one of your trips and hooked me into following you. DON’T TEASE ME Peggy .. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 3:08 pm

      Methinks you’re half way to figuring out the jugs story. Maybe at the end of the next post.

      Like

  21. Popping Wheelies / Dec 12 2018 10:46 am

    I’ve never been (not exactly wheelchair accessible), but we should all treasure it. Your photos and explanation are awesome. It is sad that the “what difference does it make?” attitude can damage so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 3:10 pm

      Much of Arches National Park is quite flat and some of it is wheelchair accessible. Check out the internet if you ever go that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Phil Huston / Dec 12 2018 10:47 am

    So the jugs story? I always read Butte as it’s near cousin. There are so many that translate humorously. Crested Butte comes to mind.
    Yeah, people seem to have this mindset that the rules are for everyone but them. And there are more retaliatory reactions to being corrected or pointing out the error of someone’s ways these days from being sued for abuse to a firearm confrontation. But it’s epidemic. Stop signs mean nothing, the line starts here, etc.
    The three gossips proves that people are people regardless of their mythology, eh?

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 3:16 pm

      Oh the retaliatory reactions these days! A recent newspaper article detailed some of the abuse fast food workers get for simple things like a soft-serve machine not working. Absolutely dreadful. As for the jugs story, maybe at the end of the next post.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. dreamweaver333 / Dec 12 2018 10:57 am

    Reblogged this on dreamweaver333.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Dec 12 2018 1:29 pm

    Leave nature to her own devices and she will provide endless entertainment and wonderful respite from a modern hectic world. Love this post, all the photos of this magnificent place.

    So I’m reminding you about the jugs story….. please tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 3:17 pm

      Mother Nature is a great entertainer. As for the jugs story, maybe at the end of the next post.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Green Global Trek / Dec 12 2018 6:05 pm

    It looks magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Emma Cownie / Dec 12 2018 8:04 pm

    Wonderful natural structures. I like the tiny people in the Double Arches photos – it gave you a good sense of their scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 9:12 pm

      I’m so glad you noticed how small the people are compared to the arches. Really brings us back to earth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma Cownie / Dec 12 2018 9:39 pm

        I initially thought “how annoying there’s all these people in your shot” but then I realised it gave you a really good sense of scale.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 12 2018 9:47 pm

        Yep, having people in a photo isn’t always a nuisance.

        Like

  27. indianeskitchen / Dec 13 2018 8:02 am

    Awesome pictures! I am going to do this some day!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. shawnthompsonart / Dec 13 2018 1:35 pm

    Very interesting rock formations, I also like your flowering cacti.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 13 2018 2:49 pm

      Thanks, I think we were lucky to see it in flower.

      Like

  29. Murray Foote / Dec 13 2018 6:48 pm

    We did go there but maybe you went on different walks because most of your images don’t look familiar and I’m sure we didn’t see the Double Arch. We did get to Delicate Arch though and yes, it is quite a long walk in: https://murrayfoote.com/2015/01/31/mesa-arch-and-delicate-arch/

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 13 2018 8:23 pm

      Hi Murray, the park has something like 2000 arches so it’s quite easy to experience totally different views. I wished I could have made it to Delicate Arch, but it wasn’t to be that day.

      Like

  30. barkinginthedark / Dec 14 2018 7:54 am

    how does that rock stay balanced??? continue…

    Liked by 2 people

  31. kkessler833 / Dec 14 2018 11:12 am

    Wow!

    Liked by 3 people

  32. paolsoren / Dec 14 2018 12:45 pm

    They are really rather magnificent. And I spied an old bloke wandering around with his hands firmly clasped behind him.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Jadi Campbell / Dec 17 2018 10:16 pm

    We loved this area and fondly refer to the trip as “Our Vacation of the Rocks”

    Liked by 2 people

  34. efge63 / Dec 18 2018 4:07 pm

    Our world is a miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miss you my friend!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 18 2018 5:42 pm

      Have missed you too. Hope everything is fine with you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • efge63 / Dec 18 2018 6:39 pm

        Ι am fine …. simply i am working more hard this period and i have not enough time !!! Wish you Merry Christmas and send many kisses!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 18 2018 9:20 pm

        Good to know you are fine. Hope work calms down, and that Christmas and the New Year are full of joy and prosperity. Kisses to you too.

        Liked by 2 people

  35. hopeobesitycentre / Dec 18 2018 10:17 pm

    want to visit there one , a wonder place.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. vinneve / Dec 20 2018 7:52 pm

    Happy travels as always!!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. chattykerry / Dec 21 2018 5:52 am

    One of my favorite places in the world – your photos are fantastic. It is truly awe inspiring. K x

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 21 2018 6:21 am

      Thanks Kerry. Our daughters always raved about The Arches and now I know why.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Zambian Lady / Dec 22 2018 2:06 am

    Another lovely, Leggypeggy. Thanks for taking us on the trip. I will be visiting the Grand and Antelope Canyons next week and your post has pumped me up some more. Always nice to see Poor John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  39. America On Coffee / Dec 22 2018 11:37 pm

    Nice share as always. Lucky you to not have encountered snow. Stay safe and warm. Holiday greetings and cheer into another new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 23 2018 10:32 am

      Luckily we were there a while back, so no snow then. Wishing you very happy holidays too.

      Like

  40. theburningheart / Dec 23 2018 8:19 am

    Well, wherever you may spend the Holidays, hope they may be good, for you, and your loved ones Peggy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 23 2018 10:33 am

      Thanks so much. We are in Australia for the holidays. Hope your holidays are wonderful too.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. SuperDuque / Dec 23 2018 2:31 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Forestwood / Dec 26 2018 8:32 am

    looks very hot and dry, Peggy. But starkly mesmerizing as well. Those environmental vandals would have me restraining my urges to expand their knowledge!! Lol!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 26 2018 8:54 am

      Perfect description of them—environmental vandals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forestwood / Dec 26 2018 9:24 am

        I do wish there was an appropriate consequence for their action. It would aid their understanding!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 26 2018 10:09 am

        They need to have more rangers. A hefty fine might make them behave.

        Like

  43. Armann and Kaymann / Dec 27 2018 12:41 am

    Love photo number 4

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Carmen / Dec 29 2018 6:49 am

    Wow so neat!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Freedom in Motion / Jan 5 2019 5:32 pm

    The first time I visited Arches I was overwhelmed by the massive geologic history. In fact, I loved it so much, I moved to the state a year later so I could enjoy the parks whenever I wanted! So glad you enjoyed your visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jan 6 2019 12:21 am

      I like your style. Love a place and then move closer to it. Hope you can enjoy the Arches regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Freedom in Motion / Jan 6 2019 3:12 am

        It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made! We now visit Arches and the BLM land surrounding it regularly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jan 6 2019 10:43 am

        That’s fantastic.

        Like

  46. Half Glass Full / Jan 7 2019 7:39 pm

    Beautiful blog and pictures!!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. ortensia / Jan 10 2019 6:41 pm

    That is the America I want to visit🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jan 10 2019 7:29 pm

      America has the most wonderful national parks. Hope you get there one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ortensia / Jan 11 2019 3:22 am

        It’s in my bucket list…..I shouldn’t say but myself and my husband are waiting for that day the kids will be out of the house or old enough to be left and we can travel ….properly and on our own🤓

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jan 11 2019 1:47 pm

        That’s what we did. 🙂

        Like

  48. Explore Himalayas / Apr 3 2019 11:48 pm

    Amazing 👌

    Liked by 1 person

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